Short Story: The Season of a Brief Affair

Source. Pexels. Jonathan Borba, Photographer

by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, N, CLNC, Contributing Editor


Walking along the Jersey shoreline, the slight chill of winter’s sensual breeze caressed my face. And my eyes teared as the ocean’s waves crashed across prominent jetties.

An inspiration caught my breath as I looked up at the distant majestic gray, billowy clouds forming on the horizon. The watery depths appeared to begin merging with the dusk, and a dream emerged where I imagined sitting in front of a fire reading from a book of poetry to a lover.  

The season captivates and excites me. I cherish the holiday spirit, the joy seen in the eyes of those searching for wonder, arm in arm to keep warm while keeping an eye open for the right X-mas tree to decorate with love. The letter X is symbolic taken from Greek Ch-Rho. But its European origins mattered not, this was about people looking for the perfect affordable tree to decorate their homes and have their personal celebrations.  

I wondered, reason not being part of the equation if I might find him here with her. I knew that I would avoid his eyes, but would he try to find mine?  I missed that connection we once shared. Where was this coming from?  I had been working hard to keep myself occupied with my writing, to not think of him or her, and me where it all might fit togther.

 My surroundings, imagination, and that rogue sensation that moved up my legs while thinking about him made me shiver.  Why now?  What would or could we share?  He was married, I was not, so any illusion about a future would only end up as before – an emptiness.  

And with my thoughts wandering about I looked up, and there he stood alone, as if I had manifested his arrival. The dazzling smile immediately initiated a response from me.  I felt his heat, as he moved closer to me, and I thought this is not good.  Yet, we hugged each other, as old friends do.     

“I thought of you today. A feeling you might be here.” He grinned.

I could not respond.

“How are you?”

“Good, I’m fine, and you?  Still married?”  I got right to the point.

“Sort of, why?”

“No reason. Just want to know. What does sort of mean?” 

“Getting a divorce.”  

“Oh.” I responded……nothing else to say. What does one say when one begins to see how far along that path one has come while remaining focused on taking each step? I had forgotten how much I had gone through to get here, because him, or us hadn’t crossed my mind as often. My idea of love has expanded beyond the feeling that sexual attraction had, at least it did, until now.  But the worst had happened, and then I said to him, “I lost you, the person I thought I couldn’t live without, and then I kept living, knowing I desired something else, something more meaningful.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Well, I now question everything, and I have come to realize that there is a big difference between happy thoughts and happy feelings.”

“Hm. Come with me.” He pleaded.

“Where?”  I ask. 

“Just come with me…please?”

And so, I followed not sure this is such a good idea.  In the Tao, it says that softness is the equivalent of life, and that bodies stiffen after death, Trees harden that are cut down. Hardness and rigidity are death, softness and flexibility are life. When our hearts harden and parts of us are blocked with unfiltered emotions, we are forced to break through them. Hardness can only exist for a time.  So, I followed him, wanting to embrace that softness and remain open.

We walked down the boardwalk where I spend most of my time over analyzing this and similar experiences. Whatever this encounter was, he took my gloved hand until we reached a spot where the most beautifully decorated tree stood.  

“I wanted you to see this, it’s really amazing the work put into this display.  And to tell you that you still twinkle like these lights do.”

“And this is my most favorite holiday.” I replied as a light snow began to fall.

Christmas trees in public spaces seems to be part of an American tradition that dates to the late 19th century. The first National Christmas Tree at the White House was a publicity stunt for the glories of electricity: a nearly 60-ft.-tall balsam fir tree covered in 2,500 light bulbs. A 20-ft.-tall Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center came to be in 1931 when the building was still under construction; by putting so many people unemployed during the Great Depression back to work, the tree became a symbol of hope. Hope, that feeling of expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen.

 That feeling of hope made me uncomfortable. I have issues. I don’t know how to be able to feel good things without projecting the bad. I got through the pain of losing him to her, I had begun to heal and reconcile and feel whole again. I didn’t want to hope.

 And now here we are, alone, looking up at this magnificent tree, a symbol of hope.   

“He pulled me closer. His kiss was deep, and I kissed him back as he reached his hand into my coat, and found my breasts, my nipples immediately responded. 

His hand wandered down my body and opened my coat just enough to reach beneath my short skirt. He pulled my lace panties to the side, as my legs open, my boots high enough to accommodate, allowed him to reach inside of me, wanting more.  His fingers gently entered me, while I unzipped his pants, reached in, and begin to stroke him. 

Our breathing was heavy. He whispered, “Let us…” and there she was, watching us…we stopped…and he acknowledged her …she smiled and said, looking at him, “thank you…for the foreplay,” and then walked towards me, looked into my eyes and asked, “Do you mind if I join your story?”